Experiences

Minh from Vietnam: Without IOM support, I could not have returned home

Mr Minh left his native country of Vietnam in 2008, came to Slovakia legally and found employment as a factory worker. In order to get the job, he got into debts and when the factory closed down due to the economic crisis, he found himself in a situation when he could not stay in Slovakia, nor had the money to return home. “When the validity of my residence permit expired, I was working illegally on construction sites or restaurants to make some money. I could not work, travel nor shop without the fear of being arrested.”

The situation was more difficult also due to the separation from his family: “When I emigrated, my son was still very little and asked me every day over the phone when will I come back,” he says. That was when he decided to return to Vietnam, despite having high debts. With the help of a friend, he contacted IOM which covered the costs of his return home and provided further assistance. Thanks to this support, he could have started doing business: “It was a valuable help for me,” says Minh.

After returning to his homeland, he first wanted to work as a taxi driver, but eventually decided to do farming. Today, him and his wife earn a living from poultry farming and growing fruit, which they sell on the market. “I do not have much, but I am happy to be home and spend time with my children.”

Watch a documentary film about Minh’s story (a film from the series Migrants’ Stories after Returning Home):

(Names of the persons have been published with their consent. / Names of the persons have been altered to protect their identity.)

Other true stories of migrants returning home from Slovakia with the help of IOM within the Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegrations Programme may be found on the website www.avr.iom.sk.

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